Church of England Diocese of Manchester St. Paul, Withington

St Paul's Church Re-opening

17 Jul 2020, midnight

‘….like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.’ (1 Peter 2:5)

Re-opening St Paul’s Church

Many of us will have a mixture of feelings about returning to worship at church again. Some will be excited about the prospect of seeing friends and having the opportunity to pray and worship again in familiar surroundings. Others may be feeling anxious about meeting up again after months of isolation and caution.

We believe that the measures that we have put in place will give regular and new visitors to our church the confidence that people can worship and pray in safety. As long as we all stick to following these measures our church building can remain Covid-19 secure for as long as needed. A copy of our risk assessment will shortly be available on our church website and on the church noticeboards.

When you come back to St Paul’s Church, you will notice that some things are different:

Health and Safety Measures:

On arrival, you will need to either wash your hands or use the hand sanitisers provided.

You will also need to stay 2 metres apart at all times. With that in mind, we have re-arranged the seating to help you maintain the social distancing rules.

Our maximum capacity will vary depending on whether worshippers are able to sit with members of their own household or bubble. Our absolute maximum capacity will be 40 for the time being.

There will also be signs to help you navigate your way in and out of the building.

Face coverings are not yet compulsory, but we would encourage you to consider wearing a mask if you are able, in order to protect yourself and others.

We are unable to offer refreshments after the service and you should leave the church building as soon as you can.

Stewards will be on hand to answer any of your questions. They will also take a note of your name and contact details to support the NHS Test and Trace initiative. These details will only be kept for 21 days.

Our team of cleaning volunteers will ensure that surfaces are wiped down after each service, that the toilet is clean and that any rubbish is removed.

The role of stewards and cleaning volunteers are very important ones, as they will enable our church to continue to remain open whilst our safety measures are in place. If you would like to put your name forward to support keeping our church open, please drop us a line.

Should I come to church?

Certain groups of people may be at increased risk of severe disease from COVID-19, including people who are aged 70 or older, regardless of medical conditions. These individuals are advised to stay at home as much as possible and, if they do go out, to take particular care to minimise contact with others outside of their household.

Those who are considered to be extremely clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 will have been advised to shield and are currently advised not to meet more than one person from outside of their own household indoors, and therefore not currently advised to attend places of worship.

Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 (a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell) should not attend church due to the risk that they pose to others; they should self-isolate at home immediately with other members of their household.

Where individuals are self-isolating due to a possible or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the household, or because they have been requested to so by NHS Test & Trace, they should stay at home and participate in worship remotely.

Our Worship

For the first month, whilst we continue to assess the measurers that we have put in place, we will be holding a 10.30 am service of Morning Prayer. Over time, we will look to introduce a service of Holy Communion and Evening Prayer each Sunday.

Sadly, we are not able at the moment to have any singing included in our service, but our Musical Director will be on hand to play the organ. Our choir will also continue to practice remotely and will be recording an anthem each week which will be played during the service.

Unfortunately we are unable to use our votive candle stand at this time. Instead, a simple candle will be lit and placed on the Communion Table as a focus of our reflection, especially if you would like to say a prayer for a loved one.

We will continue to offer a shorter Sunday service via our Facebook page for those unable to attend church at the moment.

If you have any questions about any of these details, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us via our details below.

Hils and Mike Corcoran

[email protected]

Tel  0161 445 1178; 

Mobile 07593 851172